Berlin, 5 May 2022 (TDI): German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has assured Finland and Sweden of Germany’s backing and support if they opt to join NATO, noting that both nations currently benefit from EU military protection in the event of an attack.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the security and protection of Finland and Sweden remain a major worry for countries and leaders.

According to Chancellor Scholz’s speech at Schloss Meseberg; the Chancellor’s retreat north of Berlin, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has violated all legal agreements and understandings which were formed in Europe in the last decades.

There is uncertainty on whether the Russian President and the Russian government will forcibly break international law and agreements in the near future or not.

Chancellor Scholz, who was speaking to reporters alongside Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson, said Germany was “following very closely” the debate in both countries about their potential NATO membership.

He further added, “For us, it is clear: If these two countries decide to join the NATO alliance, they can count on our support.”

The Chancellor emphasized that Berlin’s support for Finland and Sweden went beyond NATO membership. Germany and other EU countries would come to their aid if Russia attacked, a defence responsibility derived from the EU treaties’ mutual assistance clause.

Chancellor Scholz also remarked that Germany’s assistance to Finland and Sweden is on the go even before a decision on NATO membership is made. “We view ourselves as Europeans obligated to do so regardless,” the Chancellor stated.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has generated uncertainties in Sweden and Finland that they could be next in line for a Russian invasion, especially since neither nation is a member of NATO, which is based on a mutual defence guarantee.

However, given that the EU, unlike NATO, does not include the military superpower United States or the United Kingdom, one of the continent’s few military heavyweights, how much the EU could do to defend Sweden or Finland is debatable.

Finnish Prime Minister Marin stated that Finland and Sweden have succumbed to critical security concerns since the aggression of Russia on Ukraine has intensely changed the security situation which is difficult to change.

“At a time when Russia wants to dictate its decisions to others without any justification, NATO’s open-door policy is more important than ever,” Prime Minister Marin said.

The Finnish Prime Minister stated that her country has “not yet decided” on NATO membership, referring to parliamentary debates, a view shared by Sweden’s Andersson.

“All possibilities are on the table,” the Swedish leader said, noting that her administration was expecting a security analysis report on May 13 that would serve as the basis for further conversations with parliamentarians.

Chancellor Scholz also reaffirmed his commitment to increasing Germany’s defence spending to at least 2% of GDP, a goal he first shared in his historic “Zeitenwende” speech in late February.

Scholz’s ruling coalition legislators, as well as his Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, appeared to backtrack on that vow last week, igniting a firestorm of criticism from the centre-right opposition.

Chancellor Scholz declared in Meseberg that he had not changed his mind: “Germany will spend 2% of its economic output on defence indefinitely,” he said.

Leave a Reply